REVIEWS OF “LIVING LUMINARIES”
(A 2007 docu/drama feature film created, co-written, co-produced by and starring Sean A. Mulvihill, President of Hollywood Happiness Studios)
“The deepest film ever made.” — Rev. Les Turner
Review by Stephen Simon
“Gotham Metro Studios’ wonderful, fascinating, and illuminating new documentary, ‘Living Luminaries’ (On The Serious Business of Happiness), details a young man’s journey as he seeks to discover true happiness from extraordinary luminaries. We are treated to Marianne Williamson’s brilliant and compassionate insights, don Miguel Ruiz’s mystical vision, and Eckhart Tolle’s wisdom of the power of now. Others in the film are less known to us but leave an indelible impression on our psyche and in our hearts.
One of the most charismatic of the luminaries that we meet is the extraordinary Dr. Michael Beckwith, who is the force behind the Agape Spiritual Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Beckwith leapt out of “The Secret” into the national consciousness and many of us remember his extraordinary recent appearances with Oprah. In “Living Luminaries,” Dr Beckwith shares his unique blend of insights, humanity, humor, and vision.
The great gift of “Living Luminaries” is that we feel so empowered at the end of the film because it shows us that we can truly find, embrace, and retain whatever definition we have for happiness. The film actually illuminates a pathway down which we can travel to discover the essence of our own personal joy. When a film accomplishes that, it transcends the art form itself.
If you enjoyed “The Secret”, I think that you will find that “Living Luminaries” is the next step in the discovery of who we can be when we open to the magic of the beauty of our humanity…”
(Stephen Simon produced such films as “Somewhere in Time” and “What Dreams May Come.” He also produced and directed “Conversations with God” and “Indigo” and is the author of The Force is with You: Mystical Movie Messages that Inspire our Lives. Stephen is also the co-founder of The Spiritual Cinema Circle –www. SpiritualCinemaCircle.com)
Honolulu Weekly Review of Living Luminaries
The documentary Living Luminaries returns by popular demand
BY BOB GREEN | FEB 7, 2007
LIVING LUMINARIES / ‘The human race is on a suicidal rampage,’ says author Marianne Williamson speaking directly into the camera, although presumably addressing writer/producer Sean Mulvihill, who has cast himself as a spritual seeker in Living Luminaries, a serial-interviewee inquiry into the achievement of peace and happiness in a teetering world.
It’s a clever conceit, and Mulvihill plays the pilgrim inquiring into what the film calls ‘the consciously evolved.’ This A-list includes swamis, shamans, rabbis, ministers, Tibetan monks, street people and best-selling authors like Gary Renard (pictured)(The Disappearance of the Universe), who’ll be in-person to discuss the surprise hit documentary.
The film’s subtitle is ‘on the serious business of happiness,’ and each expert counsels pilgrim Mulvihill through anecdote, metaphor and flat-out assertions. The theme running through all these discourses, some effective and some not, is that happiness comes from within and requires a inner ‘quantum leap’ and usually cutting the human ego down to size. And of course, each speaker–addressing Mulvihill, a kind of picaresque seeker–has his or her own emphasis. A ‘professor of attention mechanics’ says that our inability to concentrate, to focus, might be at the root of human unhappiness and stress–and that we need to learn how to truly listen to othersÃƒâ€“and ourselves.
As Mulvihill makes his sojourn, from office to church to park to garden to talk with the experts, little welcome vignettes pull the rug out from his search, illustrating the difficulty of achieving what he calls ‘be[ing] peaceful within myself.’ ‘God is the electricity, we are the lamp,’ one writer tells him. A street musician, claiming happiness though poverty-stricken, sings his message. A man unjustly imprisoned for 27 years (cleared by a DNA test) tells how he achieved wisdom in the harshest of unfair circumstances, and is, by far, the most moving of the interviews, whose eclecticism is sometimes startling. Several tell him that we ‘need to restructure the pattern of our thinking,’ but none has the power of the ex-prisoner, who is now a social activist with impeccable pragmatic credentials.
As Mulvihill makes his pilgrimage, we see this man, an actor by profession, keeping his face impassive as those he confronts make their cases, usually emphasizing that human suffering is inescapable, and that we must try to understand ‘the meaning’ of such suffering.
Living Luminaires is well worth seeing, although the (edited-down) interviews sometimes make some teachers sound a bit glib and simplistic; others, however, find the right metaphors to compress and dramatize their positions, including proper humility. ‘Don’t believe what I say, and don’t, at first, believe yourself–just consider; don’t leap to belief.’
That’s good advice for movie goers, too. But if there were more films like Living Luminaries and fewer like Smokin’ Aces, the world might automatically be a little better. Thanks to Don Brown and his ‘Ocean Planet Film Festival’ for bringing the pop-doc back for our attention.